Dr. Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae Jemison – 'Daring Makes a Difference' for the First Black Woman Astronaut

Dr. Mae Jemison was interested in space and science very early in her life.  From her childhood home in Chicago, she dreamed of traveling to outer space and assumed that she would!

Even though many people questioned her interest in science, she persevered and followed her passion.  Jemison went on to attend Stanford University to study engineering.  In her early career, she became a doctor and then joined the Peace Corp to help provide health services to people in Africa.

Later on, she decided to follow her childhood dream of space travel.  She contacted NASA and applied for their astronaut program.  Her inspiration for joining NASA was an African-American character on Star Trek, named Lieutenant Uhura.

She was accepted into the space program and, in 1992, she traveled into outerspace on the Space Shuttle Endeavor!  Now, Dr. Jemison focuses on inspiring children to explore, ask questions, try new ways of doing things, take chances, follow their dreams and study science.

Learn more about Dr. Jemison’s inspiring life and passion for exploration in these inspirational videos below:

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • What qualities did Dr. Jemison show by pursuing her dreams?
  • What do you find to be inspiring about Dr. Jemison?
  • Why is curiosity such an important quality?

Take Action:

  • Check out the student page of the NASA website to learn more about astronauts, space, and things you can do to get involved!
  • It is amazing to think that, if you meet certain criteria, you can actually apply to be an astronaut today! Do you want to see what is required?  Look no further than NASA’s website.

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
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